Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA September 7, 2013 12:18AM
Mike Ditka | AP photo
Updated: October 9, 2013 7:40PM
1. The Bears have a new offense, two rookie offensive linemen and a quarterback who is sometimes petulant, and they’re playing one of the best pass-rushing teams in the NFL on Sunday. Is this a recipe for disaster?
No. This is a recipe for success. This is an opportunity to show these rookie linemen are going to get the job done. The coaching staff made a decision on what they saw. It wasn’t based on experience. It was based on who the best player was, and they decided to play him. I don’t think this will be a disaster, but I will say this: Cincinnati is a good football team. They can run the ball. They have a good quarterback. They have a lot of good things in place. And defensively, they have a lot of guys who can rush the passer. Then again, this is professional football, and everybody has that. That’s why you play the game. The Bears are going to run into teams like this all year, but I think they’ll be able to handle it.
2. Most experts have the Bears picked for a 9-7 or 8-8 season. What do you think?
Let’s not forget they won 10 games last year, guys. Did the defense get any worse? I don’t think so. I think they’ll be better. They’ll have good special teams. Now, the key will be what you get out of the offense. I know you have a lot of doubting Thomases out there, saying it won’t be this or that. Well, I think Forte is going to have a big year, and I think Cutler is going to have a big year. If all the experts are saying 9-7, well, what if 9-7 is good enough to get you into the playoffs? Their goal right now is to try and win that division and get into the playoffs. I really think they could win the Super Bowl. They have as much chance as the other guys. Nobody else has proven anything at this point. It’s time! It’s been 20-some years. It’s time.
3. Marc Trestman has been around, but still, it’s his NFL debut as a head coach. Think back to your first game as a coach. What’s going through his mind?
You want to get off on the right foot. You want to win the game! That’s the main thing. You want to see a football team that looks like you have control of it — a team that’s not turning the ball over, getting penalties or making a lot of mistakes. You want to show the professionalism that came from your coaching — that your team is doing things a certain way, and that certain way is the right way. But the goal is always to win. You know, you can overlook a lot of things if you win, but you’ll never overlook anything if you get beat.
4. The Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan pulls a DeSean Jackson and drops the ball before reaching the goal line. Can you explain what he might be thinking?
He’s not. It becomes more about them than the moment they’re in. The moment they’re in is a football game and doing what they can to help their football team win. But then it becomes about them. But I watched that play, and I don’t think he was really showboating — I just think he dropped the ball too quickly before he got into the endzone. I looked at it several times, and I don’t think he knew where he was. I don’t think that was a classic case of showboating at all.